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Planners okay expansion of In-Shape Health Club
• Outdoor pool and fitness area will be located on the north side of existing facility
In Shape to expand
In-Shape Health Club’s location in Ceres will be modified for an outdoor fitness area with swimming pool.

The way was cleared Monday for In-Shape Health Club in Ceres to add an outdoor fitness area on the north side of its Mitchell Road facility. On Monday the Ceres Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit to allow the addition, including a 36’ x 75’ outdoor pool, a 244-square-foot spa, and 600-square-foot pool equipment building – enclosed by a 10-foot-tall decorative metal black fence.

In Shape is in the process of buying the vacant 1.69-acre lot for the addition. The intent will be to merge both lots into one parcel.

The business plans to reconfigure existing restrooms at the north end to be accessible from the outdoor area. Plans also call for installing four 10-foot by 10-foot on the north side of the building and six windows of the same size on the west side. City staff said those windows will not provide visibility to any adjoining residences.

Additional parking of 54 stalls, landscaping and pole lighting will be added along the north, west, and east ends of the outdoor fitness area, which will be located west of Leslie’s Pool Supply.

The outdoor fitness area will be covered with a 6,000-square-foot metal canopy, and include pickleball courts and seating. Pickleball is is a racket/paddle sport that was created by combining elements of other racket sports. Two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated hollow polymer ball over a net. The ball is much like a Wiffle ball, with 26–40 round holes.

The 33,600-square-foot In Shape has been operating under a Conditional Use Permit approved in 2006.

After addressing city concerns about potential conflicts such as noise, lighting, and tree height, staff supported the project. 

The outdoor fitness area will be limited to operation from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekend.

The city told In Shape to consider that in the recent past some adjacent homeowners to the north had voiced concerns about any future building or landscaping blocking desired natural lighting from entering onto their residences. To be sensitive to their wishes, In Shape proposes a combination of evergreen and accent shrubs along the north and west perimeters due to their relative short height.

However, palm trees and a 10-foot tall decorative black metal fencing will be placed along the east end of the outside fitness area to enhance the look of the site.

“We think it’s highly unlikely it’s going to have any type of impact to the neighboring residences so staff has no objectives to the applicant’s request,” said Senior Planner James Michaels.

“Considering everything we’ve been through in the two plus years … it is a health club expansion project,” said Sandra Stephenson who has been a representative of In Shape for 15 years. “It didn’t really look like we were going to be able to do that, not that long ago so it’s very much appreciated. We think this is a really great use for that parcel which, as you know, has been vacant for a very long time. In Shape became very adept at outdoor fitness during the pandemic time, more so than they had been before and really felt like this was a really positive way to incorporate that parcel into that particular club, which obviously had closed previously during COVID. And they were able to repurchase the property and wanted to expand it to include that use.”